LDS military personnel convene in U.K.

Some 175 LDS service personnel and their spouses recently attended the first-ever conference of LDS military personnel held in the United Kingdom.

Personnel from all branches of the U.S. military service stationed in the United Kingdom, representing the U.K. and the United States, gathered May 1 in the Northampton Stake Center. There they heard addresses from General Authorities and military leaders and attended workshops.A featured guest was Gen. Robert C. Oaks, commander in chief, U.S. Air Force in Europe and commander of allied forces in Central Europe. Other speakers included Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy and a member of the Europe North Area presidency, and Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy and managing director of the Church's Military Relations Committee.

With the theme, "Come Unto Christ," the conference was the first of its kind held in the United Kingdom, according to Elder Sam Doxey and Sister Elaine Doxey, public affairs missionaries. Workshop subjects included overcoming discouragement, strengthening relationships and developing humility. The workshops were led by Pres. Michael Dockrill, first counselor in the Norwich England Stake presidency; Capt. Barney Madson, USAF attorney; and Capt. Bob Seegmiller, USAF clinical psychologist.

Gen. Oaks, one of the highest ranking Church members in the military, is stationed in Germany. He is a cousin of Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve. Gen. Oaks spoke of his love for the Book of Mormon that has been developed by daily reading, and mentioned its heros, who "speak plainly and directly to us in this dispensation." He compared these direct teachings with those of the Bible in which the Savior spoke indirectly to the people through parables.

He discussed various attributes of people who had touched his life through their missionary zeal, courage, humility and happiness. "Understanding the gospel and putting the principles and qualities of Christ into our life brings us to Christ," he said.

Elder Pinnock said that pilots follow a procedure of using a checklist before a military mission. This procedure could be an example to members in regulating their lives. A checklist for members to follow might be: "1. Am I keeping God's commandments? 2. Have I left people and places better than I found them? 3. Am I in control of my life so I can do my best each day?"

Elder Jensen encouraged the members to be tenacious about keeping their covenants. He praised the LDS military personnel for their missionary efforts.

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